My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 8 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

In The Night Garden Live!

Thursday 22nd September was a special day. It was the 2nd anniversary of the day that I met my mummy & daddy for the first time, 2 years to the day since I managed to change their lives forever and make their dream come true. This would also be the day that my mummy & daddy would make one or two of my dreams come true too! Today was the day that we went to see In The Night Garden Live at Brent Cross in London! Daddy made me my very own map so that I could see where we were going!

My map of my Birthday Adventure! I held it tight ALL the way there!

The show was being held in their 'Show Dome' which has toured around the country with Iggle Piggle and his friends for the last few months. We were all really curious about how effective the show could be in what was essentially a giant 'Bubble'!!! 

The Show Domes were so impressive! 
As we approached the entrance to the dome, we were immediately addressed by a member of staff who checked our tickets, the whole time talking to little me about how excited I was! This just made me even more so. As we stepped inside the Dome, we were promptly transported into the magical world of the Night Garden. There was music playing and the staff were well into the spirit of the show! A lovely lady came to relieve mummy of the buggy - which made me happy as it meant I could enjoy the freedom of walking for the foreseeable! We were directed into the theatre, through the atmospheric tunnels, adorned with screens showing the stage action and a feeling that just made me more and more excited! We were shown the way to our seats - which were'nt really seats! The auditorium was made up of tiered steps, which meant that there was loads of space for me and mummy to get up and join in with the singing and dancing. It was a really great idea, as I didn't have to sit still, and mummy didn't have to worry that I was annoying the people behind us. I couldn't have annoyed them, as they were too busy singing and dancing themselves!

Photo by Manuel Harlan
BBC Worldwide Ltd, Minor Entertainment Ltd & Ragdoll Worldwide Limited
When the characters appeared on the stage, the excitable screams and cheers made it difficult to hear the music for a second or two, and before I knew it, I too was joining in with the shouts of "It's Iggle Piggle!!!!!" The atmosphere was just so infectious, it was difficult to resist!! And the best bit of all - the characters were REAL! They were just the same as the ones on the TV at home!! Mummy and daddy were talking about how clever it was as the characters were all full size on the stage, unless Makka Pakka was accompanied by Iggle Piggle or Upsy Daisy (because we all know Makka Pakka is much smaller than his friends) So in these cases, Makka Pakka was a clever puppet, controlled by the even more clever 'ITNG themed' actors & actresses, as were the Tombliboos! I am not too sure what they meant by this ... all I saw was all my friends from In The Night Garden having fun together on the stage!

Photo by Manuel Harlan
BBC Worldwide Ltd, Minor Entertainment Ltd & Ragdoll Worldwide Limited
The clever design of the Show Dome meant that images could be projected over our heads and all around us. This is where we could see the Titifers sitting on their branches whilst they were singing their song, and occasionally caught a glimpse of the Pinky Ponk as it floated by! This just made it feel like we were caught right in the middle of the magic of the Night Garden, and it was a gentle and calm yet excitable and intense atmosphere!

Photo by Manuel Harlan
BBC Worldwide Ltd, Minor Entertainment Ltd & Ragdoll Worldwide Limited
The story was all about Makka Pakka trying to wash the faces of all his friends with his sponge that keeps bouncing away! The familiar feature of the much loved series were clear - Iggle Piggle clutched his red blanket, whilst Upsy Daisy sang loudly into her big megaphone, Makka Pakka pushed his Og Pog around and the Potipines danced around at the front of their tiny little house as the Ninky Nonk rushed by! The narration was clear, and the music was loud without being overwhelming. And to add to the magic, the whole dome filled with bubbles when Upsy Daisy found Makka Pakka's runaway sponge. Once again, I appreciated the benefits of the seating design as it allowed me to climb up to catch as many of the floating bubbles as I possibly could! The set was transformed in front of my eyes, smoothly and as if by magic, as the clever crew, dressed in their green suits that blended nicely into the background, moved everything around effortlessly, and without ever coming out of character. Everybody on the stage worked so well together! 

The whole show was captivating yet very familiar! The characters were introduced, each with their own unique little song that we could all sing along to (Ipsy Upsy Daisy Doo is my favourite, although daddy does a brilliant version of Makka Pakka's dance!) Then, once Makka Pakka had successfully found his sponge, and he had triumphed in washing everybody's faces, we all settled down to see the carousel appear and the story was retold just as it is in all of my DVDs!! All the characters danced together, and once again everyone in the theatre was on their feet! All before the characters tucked themselves up in their beds ready to go to sleep. 

Goodnight ... Everybody!

All apart from one ... Who's not in bed ......?

... Iggle Piggle's not in bed!

It was such an unbelievably enchanting experience, I didn't want to leave! I even heard daddy say to mummy, "Wow, that went quick! It only feels like we've been here for about 10 minutes!!" So it really IS true what they say - time really does fly when you're having lots of fun!!

When we walked out to get the buggy, mummy and daddy were approached by one of the performance team members who was asking whether we all liked the show. They were talking for ages! He asked me if I had enjoyed myself. All I could think was that I wanted to see it all again!! Instead, one of the ladies said she had a little surprise for me, which is great because I LOVE surprises!!! Mummy took me by the hand as the lovely lady directed us behind a big curtain. And guess who was there ... you'll never guess ...

Daisy Doooooooo!!!!!
Meeting Upsy Daisy was the BEST  surprise EVER! She played with me ....

"You're really real!!"
... She danced the 'Upsy Daisy Dance' with me ...

"... I'm the only Upsy one ..."
And I gave her lots of kisses which made us both VERY happy!

Upsy Daisy had LOTS of kisses for me!

This was the most amazing day! The performance was outstanding and ingenious in its production. The set was created in the most imaginative way with every familiar feature of the Night Garden included. The cast were some of the most talented and captivating around and every single member of the wonderful crew were always ready to help with a friendly and welcoming smile and were some of the most accommodating people we had ever met!

Unfortunately, In The Night Garden Live has now come to the end of its tour as Iggle Piggle and his friends need a little break. However, join their FACEBOOK PAGE where you can keep an eye on what is happening and where there is always a friendly, helpful 'voice' ready to assist you with any questions you might have. Also, be sure to sign up for their NEWSLETTER so that you can keep up to date with any events that may come up in the future. I, for one, will certainly be looking out for Upsy Daisy in case she shows her face again!! I'm sure she'll remember me ... we're best of friends now!

I would just like to finish off by saying a huge thank you to every single person who was involved in making the day so amazing! My 2nd birthday is certainly one that I will not forget in a hurry!

More about In The Night Garden!

For anyone who hasn't experienced the magic of Andy Davenport's creation, In The Night Garden, you can read more about the series and it's benefits HERE. It is a very interesting read. There's more to the magic of The Garden than you might think ...!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Getting into a Whirl with the Whirlee!!

Mookie is a global sports and outdoor toy company and distributor. Established in 1987, the company is 100% privately owned. Within 6 years, the company had established its wholly owned Manufacturing and Distribution Centre. This set up has grown from 30,000sq ft to its current (upward of) 100,000sq ft! Impressive! Based in Flitwick, around 40 miles North of London, Mookie's Head Office site is home to Sales, marketing, Product Development and Warehousing.

A couple of weeks ago, mummy placed a big cardboard box in the middle of the lounge floor. When she said it was a parcel for me, I needed it open straight away! I slid the box along the floor to where mummy had sat down and realised it was so lightweight, I could probably have lifted the whole box in the air (if my arms were longer!!) "It's empty" I said to mummy!!

But it wasn't empty! When the box was open, mummy told me to lift out what was inside. 

Weighing just 865g, I can carry it around the room with me, no problem, especially using the convenient carry handle at the front which I can also hold on to whilst I am riding on the Whirlee. I am used to much heavier and wooden ride-on toys, so this was going to be a very different experience altogether!

The Whirlee is so lightweight at just 865g!
You can tell straight away by the way this brilliant toy is designed that it is meant for the most active of kids, and mummy says I definitely fall into this category! As you can see, we have wooden flooring at home, and this means I can go really fast on my Whirlee! Each of the 4, 360° rotating castor wheels spin individually, adding to the excitement as this ride-on often seems to have a 'mind of its own' and allows me to WHIRL in all directions around the room!

The Whirlee is designed for children from 12months upwards

At firt, we thought the Whirlee looked quite small and close to the floor, but this means that with its freedom of movement, I am still able to control the direction in which it moves ... most of the time! I can Whirl my way into a tight corner of the room, and get myself out of it again without getting off the Whirlee! I can weave my way in and out of the obstacle course I create with my toys every day without any problem at all! Best of all, I can zip from one corner of the room to the other in record time, which is so much fun, especially when I manage to run over daddy's toes!! (Ssshhh ... he thinks it's an accident every time!)

"Ooooops ... Sorry daddy!!"

The Whirlee design means that they can be stacked if your home has more than one, and its compact size makes it convenient when packing it into the back of the car and transporting it from place to place. 

My Whirlee is blue with an aeroplane design on the side. I love aeroplanes, and I think Mookie have put these on the side of my Whirlee because of the speeds I can reach on it! I'm sure I can go faster than anyone on this!! However,  the Whirlee also comes in red which looks really smart too!

The red Whirlee has a lovely picture of a train on the side

Mookie Toys have a very special Mission Statement:

  • To be the number one supplier in the outdoor toy & sort sector on a global basis.
  • To listen to customers and provide exceptional service.
  • To develop innovative, high quality product.
  • To build Swingball as a global brand.
  • To provide cost effective products using leading technology.
  • To develop and maximise our licensing programme.
With the Whirlee being strong and durable, attractive and creative in its appearance, and contemporary & unique in its function and capability, Mookie's Whirlee has definitely delivered these promises! The Whirlee is affordable and accessible and can be found at Mothercare for the excellent price of just £19.99!

"I know it's not a teddy, mummy, but I can still give it a hug, right?!"

Thank you Mookie Toys! Keep making fantastic toys like this, and I'll love you forever!!!

To read more about Mookie Toys and view their full range of wonderful products, visit their website

Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Best & Worst of this Week (w/e 24/09/11)

A lovely idea started by Real Suburban Mummy gives you the chance to share the best point of your week and have a little rant about the worst! So here's mine ...

This Week's BEST!

The best thing about this week was that it was my 2nd birthday and mummy & daddy took me to meet Upsy Daisy and to see her with all her friends on stage in London! I had the best day EVER and have been telling everyone about it ever since, so I thought I would share it with you too!!

This Week's WORST!

The worst thing about this week is my nanna has been really poorly! She even went to the doctors and didn't go to work ALL week! This meant that I couldn't see her earlier in the week and I missed her very much! She's a bit better now though :)

Here's where 'The Best & Worst' started!

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Caption Saturday

Saturday, 24th September, 2011

It's that time again!! Ready for the fun meme started by Mammasaurus! Looking forward to the captions you put to my picture this week ...

This is where CapSat all began!
Saturday Is Caption Day

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Let's Rock! Elmo

When we were asked to try out and review the brand new Let’s Rock! Elmo from Hasbro, you can imagine the excitement here in the Munchkin Patch!! And that excitement was just from my mummy and daddy, because they didn’t even tell me he was coming. This was a brilliant opportunity as we were getting to try him out before he even found himself on UK Retailers’ shelves!

When he arrived, he came in a huge box which looked really appealing. When mummy told me there was something inside the box, well, we couldn't get it open quickly enough!!! I pulled open the box and this is what we found inside .....

Eeeeek! It's Elmo!!!!!
 He was sitting comfortably in his box, surrounded by his brilliant accessories - his drums, his tambourine and, of course, his microphone. I sat patiently whilst daddy carefully lifted him out of his box, which was covered in examples of Elmo's great features. Mummy and daddy spent some time reading the box and the instructions, but I just wanted the box opened! I was so excited!!

I could barely contain myself!
Elmo stands 11 inches tall, wears his own 'rock style' t-shirt and is reasonably lightweight at just 1.1kg. You can position him behind his drums or with his tambourine in one hand and his microphone in the other, either way, when his left foot is pressed, he knows what instrument he is in control of and will comment and move accordingly. If I decide that I want to play the drums AND the tambourine AND sing with the microphone, Elmo politely asks me to hand something to him so that we can play together, saying things like "Elmo wants to play the drums!" and "Elmo loves the tambourine". If I ignore Elmo's request 5 times, he will give up asking me to share and will eventually go into a Sleep Mode and won't speak again until his foot is pressed. I don't ignore him very often though, because he says "please" and  and teaches me really good manners! When I give him his instruments, he immediately encourages me to join in with him making some fantastic music!

I can sing and shake the tambourine whilst Elmo plays along on his drums! ...

... Or we can swap, and I can take control of the drums as Elmo sings into his microphone and shakes his tambourine to the music!

Elmo sings and plays along to some of his favourite tunes, including Elmo's World, It Takes Two and The Alphabet Song! The whole time, his movements depend entirely on the instruments he has. He will bang the drums perfectly in time with the music or shake the tambourine above his head whilst holding the microphone to his mouth. His instruments are perfect for him and are nice and small & lightweight, so perfect for my little hands too! The lyrics are lovely and clear and I find myself singing along to the Alphabet Song without even realising it! 

Sometimes I just like to get up and dance to Elmo's wonderful music!

Let's Rock! Elmo will also interact with other 'Let's Rock' instruments, including a keyboard, a guitar and an additional microphone which will all be sold separately. I'm putting them on my Christmas list!! 

Overall, Elmo is a brilliant addition to any child's (that's both small kids and 'big kids' like mummy and daddy!!) toy collection. He requires no assembly at all and is ready to rock straight from the box! All he needs is 6AA batteries ('test' batteries included) and a willing band mate who is ready to rock!! I think he will take pride of place on many Christmas lists this year and rightfully so! He is made with us kids in mind, but is real entertainment for the whole family!

Elmo claims to be suitable for children between the ages of 18 months and 4 years ... but my mummy and daddy are older than 4, and they love him nearly as much as I do!!!

Thank you Hasbro ... Elmo ROCKS!!!!

Let's Rock! Elmo is available to buy from most large toy retailers from today! A must for the Christmas list!

Monday, 19 September 2011

The things I miss ....

Hi all - Mummy Munchkin here. I'm hijacking Munchkin's blog to do a post of my own whilst she's not looking and busy playing Dora the Explorer on the iPhone!!!

I was browsing the chat boards on Gurgle this morning and saw that one of the popular chat topics was "What you miss most about life before babies". I thought about it, and as much as I adore my little girl and would never be without her now, I think every parent could think of (at least) one thing that they miss, something you enjoyed doing which isn't as easy to do since the arrival of your children. After all, they say that your life will never be quite the same after childbirth, and they're certainly right!!

Bumbo came everywhere with us for a time! Just in case there was an absence of highchairs! 

I miss things that I used to do before Munchkin but I also miss my baby bump! I had a horrendous pregnancy, and being so short, I was enormous! It was almost easier to step over me than take a trek around me!! I had problems with my back and hips and found general mobility really difficult. But for some insane reason, I miss it!! I miss the excitement of the pregnancy, not knowing whether she would be a girl or a boy, walking around Mothercare wide-eyed with a fluttery tummy, suddenly taking notice of the TV adverts for baby toys and accessories, I miss it all!

Our 12 week scan of Munchkin!

However, one thing I really miss from my life before Munchkin is spontaneity! Since she has been in our lives, I have become very much a creature of habit and routine. I need to know what we have planned in advance and try to plan our every movement perfectly. AND I HATE IT!!! I wish I could be more relaxed about having a disrupted routine, but if things change with little notice, I fret that the whole day will be a disaster!! I miss hearing my partner say, "What do you fancy doing today?" and being able to just throw on a pair of shoes and go wherever the mood takes us! Now we think about feeds, change of clothes, comforters, favourite toys, Calpol and a curfew so we don't miss bedtime!

All ready to go out, probably following 3 hours of preparation!
We would take regular trips to London, spending time on the Southbank and sticking around for an 'Al Fresco' dinner wherever we fancied. Now we have other considerations ... do they have highchairs? Baby changing facilities? A children's menu? Space for the buggy? I would never see Munchkin as a burden, and these considerations are not a problem at all. It's just how things change, and she is worth every single extra thought! Now that she is nearly 2, we are starting to find it easier to take her to places that we used to love before she was born, and now we see these places in a completely different way. Almost through Munchkin's eyes. We appreciate our family days out in a very different way now and can enjoy them for a whole bunch of new reasons as we watch Munchkin grow to appreciate them too!

A whole new reason to enjoy our days out!

Would love to hear about the things that you miss about life before your babies!!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Save the Children!

I have been tagged by The Wonderful Adventures of Spud and Spike to write a short 100 word blog post about a memorable Health Professional that I have encountered in my lifetime in aid of SAVE THE CHILDREN. The campaign aims to increase awareness of the shortage of Healthcare Workers, including midwives, in the poorest countries. The way you can help is to sign the PETITION to David Cameron asking him to play his full part in solving the health worker crisis which is costing millions of children's lives.

So here goes (although I will undoubtedly write more than 100 words!!!):

Mine would have to be the night that I gave birth to Munchkin. I know it's not very original, but it's the best treatment I have ever received from the NHS. I was a first time mum, and utterly terrified! I was completely overwhelmed by the whole experience, and not sure what was happening from one minute to the next (although that was mainly down to the gas & air!) One particular midwife stayed by my side the whole time. Janine, her name was, and although her shift was due to end at 3am, she was still with me at 5am when I was trying to feed my newborn baby for the first time after the 20 hour labour then C-Section, and helping Munchkin's daddy dress her in her very first outfit. She was already on an extended shift and stayed with me the whole way through, and was the first person to hold Munchkin. This wonderful woman will stay close to my heart forever as she hugely exceeded what was expected of her so that she could be there to deliver my baby. 

Munchkin at 6 hours old

Ok, so here is how to join in and do your bit:

  1. So first off - Let's all sign the PETITION (takes less than a minute)
  2. Then the challenge set by @HelloItsGemma and @michelletwinmum is that they need to see 100 posts of 100 words linked up here by Tuesday. If 100 bloggers each write a post about this and encourage more signatures that could make a massive dent in the 20,000 signature shortfall that we sit with right now!

    Write your 100 words about a great health professional you have encountered in your life. Add a link to the petition and either link or add in some information from Save the Children about the #Healthworkers campaign
  3. Link to a number of other bloggers/ vloggers and ask them to do the same and add yourself to the LINKY list!
  4. Tweet about this, facebook mention it, remark on google plus, talk to your Mum on the phone, whatever you can do to spread this to just a few more people, please do it.

So I will now pass the baton to:
Charlie Monsters Fun House
Mummy vs Work

Please, even if you have not been tagged, do join in!


Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Happy Birthday Postman Pat!!

Yesterday, Friday 16th September, 2011, Postman Pat invited lots of friends to party with him as he celebrated his 30th birthday. Me and mummy were really lucky to be invited to join Danielle and Marky from Blog by Baby and Lauren and Spud from The Wonderful Adventures of Spud and Spike for his Big Birthday Bash at the Vue Cinema in the Westfield Shopping Centre in London. I was very excited about seeing Postman Pat and Jess the Cat, and so me and mummy made our way to London.

We arrived at the attractive Westfield and I managed to stop mummy from dragging me in all of the lovely shops on the way to meet the others!!

When we arrived at the cinema, we were greeted by Postman Pat and Jess. Now, I know I said I was excited, and I was, but he was big!! I was a little nervous at the beginning and wasn't too keen on getting too close!! I didn't really give my best photo face!! Sorry mummy!

Not too sure at the beginning. He's huge!!!

As soon as we arrived and had our photo taken, a lovely lady came and offered to 'park' our buggy. "Yes please driver!!" So mummy was 'buggy free' and able to join in the fun with me! We then found ourselves at a big table covered in a yummy spread made of cakes!!! (and fresh juice!) Platter after platter of special birthday cupcakes made especially for Pat!! And they were tasty!!

Then we moved on to the activity tables. There were crayons, pens, paper, sticky glue, and lots of things to make! I spent lots of time here with mummy! I made a card for my daddy and a collar for Jess the Cat. I did, however, decide to keep the 'collar' for myself ... well what do you expect? ... it jingles!!!! A funny man was also making balloon animals for all of us! He made me a teddy bear holding a heart. I was very impressed!

Then Postman Pat was presented with his special birthday cake which looked just like his big red van! And it had candles for him to blow out!

Everyone loved the cake! One little boy even nicked  a chunk of icing when his mummy wasn't looking!!
After all the excitement of cakes, crafting and balloons, we made our way into the lovely cinema where we watched 3 episodes of Postman Pat from his new Birthday DVD - they were brilliant, and once again, I managed to sit still in my own chair (when I wasn't on mummy's lap or sitting on the floor at the front!!) and we were all given our own bag of Postman Pat Popcorn! We were also told about the brilliant news of a Postman Pat Movie being made which is due for release in 2013!

When mummy researched the pending release of the film, she found out that Pat will be voiced by Green Wing actor Stephen Mangan, and the cast will also include Jim Broadbent, Rupert Grint and David Tennant. Rather than just focusing on what we know and love Postman Pat for, the storyline will centre around what happens when Pat enters a TV talent show that threatens to take him away from his village life in the famous Greendale village! Sounds exciting!

When the screening had finished, Postman Pat gave me my very own Goody Bag filled with lots of Postman Pat treats, including a wonderful toy and my own copy of his Birthday DVD!

Happy 30th Birthday Postman Pat! May you continue delivering letters to the residents of Greendale for many years to come! Oh, and thank you for letting me have a cuddle with Jess!!!

I wasn't as scared by the end of the film!

Caption Saturday

Saturday, 17th September, 2011

And here's where it all began ...
Saturday Is Caption Day